Review: The Orwells’ ‘Terrible Human Beings’

Story by Tim Jenkins / Contributing writer

Garage rockers The Orwells released their third studio album, “Terrible Human Beings,” last week.

Formed in 2009 in Elmhurst, Illinois, the group is comprised of Mario Cuomo (vocals), Dominic Corso (guitar), Matt O’Keefe (guitar), Grant Brinner (bass) and Henry Brinner (drums).

To preface the following review, “Terrible Human Beings” was my first exposure to The Orwells and their music. I had never heard any of the band’s previous releases, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

To put it simply, the album sounds like a band jamming in a garage, which I suspect is what the band was trying to achieve. Fans of bands like The White Stripes are sure to find a fondness for the Orwells. The songs are incredibly catchy. Most have a punk rock/grunge vibe to them that is highly reminiscent of music released in the mid-90s. These are the kind of songs to which you would jam with your friends or play at a house party.

Among the best tracks on the project are the guitar-driven  “Heavy Head” and “Ring Pop.” The blues-rock opening track, “They Put a Body in the Bayou,” is another strong cut.

That being said, there are some issues with the album. The vocals are sometimes unclear, and I often had no idea what the lyrics were supposed to be. Although the songs are often catchy, they begin to blur together after hearing about six or seven tracks.

Even with those issues in mind, the album is still fun, and I would definitely recommend checking it out. If you like what you hear, you can also check out The Orwells this summer at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN.  

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